Ephemera, Baubles and Items of Transitory Joy
  • From Enemy of all Mankind: A True Story of Piracy, Power, and History's First Global Manhunt, by Steven Johnson:#
  • "The Barbary pirates had been attacking British merchant ships in the Mediterranean for more than a century, but they also posed a far more immediate threat to the coastal communities of England and Ireland. In 1631, a Barbary pirate raid on the small Irish village of Baltimore in County Cork in the dead of night absconded with almost a hundred people, half of them children, all of whom were sold into slavery back in Algiers. Fourteen years later, two hundred forty English citizens living on the Cornish coast were captured and enslaved. (Many were ultimately ransomed by Parliament and returned to England years later.) #
  • "Rumors held that as many as sixty Barbary men-of-war were actively prowling the English Channel, waiting for the opportunity to capture more product for the slave markets of Algiers and Tripoli. For most of the seventeenth century, an English or Irish family living near the coast confronted the real possibility that they might be hauled off without warning to a North African prison. #
  • "A Committee for Algiers established by Parliament in 1640 estimated that as many as five thousand English citizens were enslaved in North Africa. Those numbers suggest that the odds of sudden enslavement by Barbary pirates were far higher for the average Devonshire resident than the odds of experiencing a terrorist attack in a modern-day Western city."#

© Daily Miscellany 2021

Last update: Sunday January 16, 2022; 5:05 PM EST.